Passover is called the
"Festival of our Freedom." It commemorates our deliverance as a
people from Egyptian bondage.
Israel's Escape from Egypt
(Providence Lithograph Co. 1896 - 1913)
God frequently identifies himself in the Torah as "the God who brought us
out of the land of Egypt."
Freedom is being released from bondage, and bondage is anything that
keeps us from being who God made us to be. The list would include
things like sins, habits, lust, addictions, faulty thinking, bitterness,
hatred, unforgiveness, demons, the flesh, the world, etc. We can all
write our own list and it would include so-called good things as
well as bad. We can put ourselves in bondage, and we can also be put
there by others.
When Israel came out of Egypt, it is clear from their responses to crisis
situations that they were not yet free. Real freedom is not being
controlled by "the list." It is the state of not being impacted by that
which is designed to snare us again. We have come out from Egypt, but has
Egypt come out of us? Israel left Egypt, but their behavior revealed
that Egypt was still in their hearts. They wanted to return. It impacted
their minds to such an extent that they remembered the past falsely. They
recalled sitting every day "by the Nile on their beach chairs, sipping
piña coladas, and eating grilled fish and onions" (Numbers 11:5
Each time something bad (or challenging) happened, the Israelites forgot
what God had done beforehand. That is not freedom. Thinking that their
previous position as slaves was better than what they now had, was an
even greater bondage.
In Acts 17:28, Saul said to the Athenian philosophers and intellectuals
that in God we were to "live and move and have our being." This
means walking in such a way that He is the filter through which we see
everything, measure everything and respond to everything.
This is real freedom - a place with no room for bondage to get a
grip on our thoughts and on our actions. "Do not give the Devil an
opportunity" (Ephesians 4:27 NASB) is an exhortation to not allow
breaches in relationships with God and men. Unresolved issues are doors
for Satan to walk through. In John 14:30, Yeshua said, "The ruler of
this world is coming and he has nothing in me."
How is it possible to live like that?
It begins when we recognize our position in Him after our new birth and
how we got to that place. Being born again is the individual picture of
what happened to the nation collectively in being brought out of Egypt.
It is God who delivers - with a mighty hand and an outstretched
arm. We were rescued - set free not by the arm of flesh but by the hand
of God. When we can see the difference between human achievement
and those things not made with human hands and truly embrace the latter,
we are on our way to living it.
Kingdom of Freedom
In the second chapter of the book of Daniel the king had a dream which
greatly troubled him. He demanded of his wise men to tell him the dream
and then interpret it. Faced with an impossible task, the lives of the
wise men threatened, Daniel requested time to pray. God gave the answers.
Daniel gave the glory to God and told the dream and its interpretation.
From the vision of the statue in the dream we are given a prophetic
picture of earthly kingdoms. The statue represents the elevation of human
effort and accomplishment. Earthly kingdoms continue on their prideful
way to their ultimate demise. In the end it is the kingdom of God that
prevails over all, destroying the greatest empires and emperors.
Walking in this kingdom as an ever present reality is true
freedom. This is why Daniel could flow through his 70 years of
Babylonian exile undisturbed by lions' dens, jealous rivals, non
kosher food, angelic visitations, spiritual warfare, dreams and visions,
etc. His external circumstances did not control him. He had been taken
as a boy captive to Babylon, yet was a totally free man.
The stone cut without hands in Daniel 2:34-35 stands in contrast to the
statue. The splendid statue represents the kingdoms of man. The statue is
very humanly attractive. It impresses and controls those who are not
The stone points us to Yeshua. "He has no stately form or majesty that
we should look upon him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to
him" (Isaiah 53:2 NASB). Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, Islam
are all to be shattered and scattered, but the Kingdom of God fills the
earth forever. When we are not in bondage, we are not intimidated on the
grand scale nor in everyday life.
When the Son of God makes us free we are free indeed.